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Focus: The Ultimate Guide on How to Improve Focus and Concentration
Focus and concentration can be difficult to master. Sure, most people want to learn how to improve focus and boost concentration. But actually doing it? We live in a noisy world and constant distractions can make focus difficult.
Luckily, this page contains the best ideas and top research on how to get and stay focused. We will break down the science behind sharpening your mind and paying attention to what matters. Whether you’re looking to focus on your goals in life or business, this page should cover everything you need to know.
You can click the links below to jump to a particular section or simply scroll down to read everything. At the end of this page, you’ll find a complete list of all the articles I have written on focus.
I. Focus: What It Is and How it Works
II. How to Focus and Increase Your Attention Span
III. Mind-Hacks for Getting Focused
I. Focus: What It Is and How it Works
First things first. What is focus, really? Experts define focus as the act of concentrating your interest or activity on something. That’s a somewhat boring definition, but there is an important insight hiding inside that definition.
What is Focus?
In order to concentrate on one thing you must, by default, ignore many other things.
Here’s a better way to put it:
Focus can only occur when we have said yes to one option and no to all other options. In other words, elimination is a prerequisite for focus. As Tim Ferriss says, “What you don’t do determines what you can do.”
Of course, focus doesn’t require a permanent no, but it does require a present no. You always have the option to do something else later, but in the present moment focus requires that you only do one thing. Focus is the key to productivity because saying no to every other option unlocks your ability to accomplish the one thing that is left.
Now for the important question: What can we do to focus on the things that matter and ignore the things that don’t?
Before we talk about how to get started, let’s pause for just a second. If you’re enjoying this article on focus, then you’ll probably find my other writing on performance and human behavior useful. Each week, I share self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research through my free email newsletter.
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Why Can’t I Focus?
Most people don’t have trouble with focusing. They have trouble with deciding.
What I mean is that most healthy humans have a brain that is capable of focusing if we get the distractions out of the way. Have you ever had a task that you absolutely had to get done? What happened? You got it done because the deadline made the decision for you. Maybe you procrastinated beforehand, but once things became urgent and you were forced to make a decision, you took action.
Instead of doing the difficult work of choosing one thing to focus on, we often convince ourselves that multitasking is a better option. This is ineffective.
The Myth of Multitasking
Technically, we are capable of doing two things at the same time. It is possible, for example, to watch TV while cooking dinner or to answer an email while talking on the phone.
What is impossible, however, is concentrating on two tasks at once. You’re either listening to the TV and the overflowing pot of pasta is background noise, or you’re tending to the pot of pasta and the TV is background noise. During any single instant, you are concentrating on one or the other.
Multitasking forces your brain to switch your focus back and forth very quickly from one task to another. This wouldn’t be a big deal if the human brain could transition seamlessly from one job to the next, but it can’t.
Have you ever been in the middle of writing an email when someone interrupts you? When the conversation is over and you get back to the message, it takes you a few minutes to get your bearings, remember what you were writing, and get back on track. Something similar happens when you multitask. Multitasking forces you to pay a mental price each time you interrupt one task and jump to another. In psychology terms, this mental price is called the switching cost.
Switching cost is the disruption in performance that we experience when we switch our focus from one area to another. One study, published in the International Journal of Information Management in 2003, found that the typical person checks email once every five minutes and that, on average, it takes 64 seconds to resume the previous task after checking your email.
In other words, because of email alone, we typically waste one out of every six minutes.
The myth of multitasking is that it will make you more effective. In reality, remarkable focus is what makes the difference. (Image inspired by Jessica Hagy.)
II. How to Focus and Increase Your Attention Span
Let’s talk about how to overcome our tendency to multitask and focus on one thing at a time. Of the many options in front of you, how do you know what to focus on? How do you know where to direct your energy and attention? How do you determine the one thing that you should commit to doing?
Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy for Focused Attention
One of my favorite methods for focusing your attention on what matters and eliminating what doesn’t comes from the famous investor Warren Buffett.
Buffett uses a simple 3-step productivity strategy to help his employees determine their priorities and actions. You may find this method useful for making decisions and getting yourself to commit to doing one thing right away. Here’s how it works…
One day, Buffett asked his personal pilot to go through the 3-step exercise.
STEP 1: Buffett started by asking the pilot, named Mike Flint, to write down his top 25 career goals. So, Flint took some time and wrote them down. (Note: You could also complete this exercise with goals for a shorter timeline. For example, write down the top 25 things you want to accomplish this week.)
STEP 2: Then, Buffett asked Flint to review his list and circle his top 5 goals. Again, Flint took some time, made his way through the list, and eventually decided on his 5 most important goals.
STEP 3: At this point, Flint had two lists. The 5 items he had circled were List A, and the 20 items he had not circled were List B.
Flint confirmed that he would start working on his top 5 goals right away. And that’s when Buffett asked him about the second list, “And what about the ones you didn’t circle?”
Flint replied, “Well, the top 5 are my primary focus, but the other 20 come in a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit. They are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them a dedicated effort.”
To which Buffett replied, “No. You’ve got it wrong, Mike. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”
I love Buffett’s method because it forces you to make hard decisions and eliminate things that might be good uses of time, but aren’t great uses of time. So often the tasks that derail our focus are ones that we can easily rationalize spending time on.
This is just one way to narrow your focus and eliminate distractions. I’ve covered many other methods before like The Ivy Lee Method and The Eisenhower Box. That said, no matter what method you use and no matter how committed you are, at some point your concentration and focus begin to fade. How can you increase your attention span and remain focused?
There are two simple steps you can take.
Measure Your Results
The first thing you can do is to measure your progress.
Focus often fades because of lack of feedback. Your brain has a natural desire to know whether or not you are making progress toward your goals, and it is impossible to know that without getting feedback. From a practical standpoint, this means that we need to measure our results.
We all have areas of life that we say are important to us, but that we aren’t measuring. That’s a shame because measurement maintains focus and concentration. The things we measure are the things we improve. It is only through numbers and clear tracking that we have any idea if we are getting better or worse.
- When I measured how many pushups I did, I got stronger.
- When I tracked my reading habit of 20 pages per day, I read more books.
- When I recorded my values, I began living with more integrity.
The tasks I measured were the ones I remained focused on.
Unfortunately, we often avoid measuring because we are fearful of what the numbers will tell us about ourselves. The trick is to realize that measuring is not a judgment about who you are, it’s just feedback on where you are.
Measure to discover, to find out, to understand. Measure to get to know yourself better. Measure to see if you’re actually spending time on the things that are important to you. Measure because it will help you focus on the things that matter and ignore the things that don’t.
Focus on the Process, Not the Event
The second thing you can do to maintain long-term focus is to concentrate on processes, not events. All too often, we see success as an event that can be achieved and completed.
Here are some common examples:
- Many people see health as an event: “If I just lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be in shape.”
- Many people see entrepreneurship as an event: “If we could get our business featured in the New York Times, then we’d be set.”
- Many people see art as an event: “If I could just get my work featured in a bigger gallery, then I’d have the credibility I need.”
Those are just a few of the many ways that we categorize success as a single event. But if you look at the people who stay focused on their goals, you start to realize that it’s not the events or the results that make them different. It’s the commitment to the process. They fall in love with the daily practice, not the individual event.
What’s funny, of course, is that this focus on the process is what will allow you to enjoy the results anyway.
- If you want to be a great writer, then having a best-selling book is wonderful. But the only way to reach that result is to fall in love with the process of writing.
- If you want the world to know about your business, then it would be great to be featured in Forbes magazine. But the only way to reach that result is to fall in love with the process of marketing.
- If you want to be in the best shape of your life, then losing 20 pounds might be necessary. But the only way to reach that result is to fall in love with the process of eating healthy and exercising consistently.
- If you want to become significantly better at anything, you have to fall in love with the process of doing it. You have to fall in love with building the identity of someone who does the work, rather than merely dreaming about the results that you want.
Focusing on outcomes and goals is our natural tendency, but focusing on processes leads to more results over the long-run.
III. Concentration and Focus Mind-Hacks
Even after you’ve learned to love the process and know how to stay focused on your goals, the day-to-day implementation of those goals can still be messy. Let’s talk about some additional ways to improve concentration and make sure you’re giving each task your focused attention.
How to Improve Concentration
Here are few additional ways to improve your focus and get started on what matters.
Choose an anchor task. One of the major improvements I’ve made recently is to assign one (and only one) priority to each work day. Although I plan to complete other tasks during the day, my priority task is the one non-negotiable thing that must get done. I call this my “anchor task” because it is the mainstay that holds the rest of my day in place. The power of choosing one priority is that it naturally guides your behavior by forcing you to organize your life around that responsibility.
Manage your energy, not your time. If a task requires your full attention, then schedule it for a time of day when you have the energy needed to focus. For example, I have noticed that my creative energy is highest in the morning. That’s when I’m fresh. That’s when I do my best writing. That’s when I make the best strategic decisions about my business. So, what do I do? I schedule creative tasks for the morning. All other business tasks are taken care of in the afternoon. This includes doing interviews, responding to emails, phone calls and Skype chats, data analysis and number crunching. Nearly every productivity strategy obsesses over managing your time better, but time is useless if you don’t have the energy you need to complete the task you are working on.
Never check email before noon. Focus is about eliminating distractions. Email can be one of the biggest distractions of all. If I don’t check email at the beginning of the day, then I am able to spend the morning pursuing my own agenda rather than reacting to everybody else’s agenda. That’s a huge win because I’m not wasting mental energy thinking about all the messages in my inbox. I realize that waiting until the afternoon isn’t feasible for many people, but I’d like to offer a challenge. Can you wait until 10AM? What about 9AM? 8:30AM? The exact cutoff time doesn’t matter. The point is to carve out time during your morning when you can focus on what is most important to you without letting the rest of the world dictate your mental state.
Leave your phone in another room. I usually don’t see my phone for the first few hours of the day. It is much easier to do focused work when you don’t have any text messages, phone calls, or alerts interrupting your focus.
Work in full screen mode. Whenever I use an application on my computer, I use full screen mode. If I’m reading an article on the web, my browser takes up the whole screen. If I’m writing in Evernote, I’m working in full screen mode. If I’m editing a picture in Photoshop, it is the only thing I can see. I have set up my desktop so that the menu bar disappears automatically. When I am working, I can’t see the time, the icons of other applications, or any other distractions on the screen. It’s funny how big of a difference this makes for my focus and concentration. If you can see an icon on your screen, then you will be reminded to click on it occasionally. However, if you remove the visual cue, then the urge to be distracted subsides in a few minutes.
Remove all tasks that could distract from early morning focus. I love doing the most important thing first each day because the urgencies of the day have not crept in yet. I have gone a little far in this regard in that I have even pushed my first meal off until about noon each day. I have been intermittent fasting for three years now (here are some lessons learned), which means that I typically eat most of my meals between 12PM and 8PM. The result is that I get some additional time in the morning to do focused work rather than cook breakfast.
Regardless of what strategy you use, just remember that anytime you find the world distracting you, all you need to do is commit to one thing. In the beginning, you don’t even have to succeed. You just need to get started.
Where to Go From Here
I hope you found this short guide on focus useful. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to improve your focus and concentration, feel free to browse the full list of articles below.
How to Bet on the Ponies
Growing up, I never visited a horse track or saw a single horse race.
That all changed when I met Kate and married into a horse race-loving family. Rick Surwilo, my father-in-law, had started going to the racetrack as a teenager with his family. This was a time before lotteries and casinos, and horse racing was the only legal form of gambling, so it was something really different to go and do. His family lived in Connecticut but had bought a little home in Woodford, Vermont, and Rick’s dad loved to take the wife and kids to the Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal, just a little ways south of there. They’d set up their lawn chairs by the finish line, and Grandpa Surwilo would take everyone’s orders and go relay the bets to the tellers.
The Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal, Vermont
When I started dating Kate, one of our first, and most romantic, dates was when she took me to the racetrack here in Tulsa. We had a great time betting on a few horse races while snuggling in the bleachers as a thunderstorm rolled in.
After Kate and I got hitched, her parents would take us to the horse races every other summer or so, and even gave us poor newlyweds a little scratch to bet with. Rick’s father had long since passed away, but Gram Surwilo–every inch the stereotypical feisty Italian grandma–still loved to go and bet on the ponies, just as she had in the old days in Vermont.
I really enjoyed these outings with my extended family, and placing a few bets myself, but I admittedly had no idea what I was doing. I mostly just picked the horses with the names I liked best.
So I jumped at the chance America’s Best Racing offered me a couple of months ago to come see the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky, and get some lessons on how to bet on the ponies. Kate and I had a great time there and learned a ton. Betting on horses is a lot more complicated than I had imagined, but it’s really a great deal of fun.
Today, I’ll share some of the basics of what I learned, so that the horse racing neophyte can take advantage of this wonderful spring weather and go down to their local racetrack (or the Kentucky Derby!) feeling like they know what they’re doing.
Why Go to a Horse Race?
The finish line at Turfway Park.
Before we get into the art of betting, let’s talk about why you’d want to visit a horse racetrack anyway. Perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s something my grandpa liked to do, but I’m not interested.”
Watching horse racing at the higher levels of the sport is a wonderful experience. I’m really not much for any other forms of gambling, and personally don’t see the fun in losing my shorts in some dark, smoky casino. But horse racing I like; it feels like entertainment, an experience, an outing. I like that I’m outside. I like that there’s a lot of history and tradition behind it. All in all, whether I win or lose money, I still have a great time.
These days if you want to take the family to a pro basketball or football game, the tickets and food can easily run you $400. Admission to a racetrack is often free, the minimum bet on each horse race is just $2, and you can sometimes bring your own food and drinks. You get to spend all afternoon and evening outside, watching beautiful animals perform at their peak ability. And all this can run you less than a trip to the movies.
And if you’re looking for an affordable, unique date, where you won’t run out of things to talk about, look no further!
Types of Horse Racing Bets
My favorite track I’ve visited: the Saratoga Race Course in NY. Lots of history there–built in 1863, it’s the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States.
You have two categories of wagers to choose from when you bet on the ponies: straight wagers and exotic wagers. For a beginner, I recommend sticking with straight wagers. They’re simple and cheap. You simply pick one horse to come in first, second, or third. The minimum bet at most tracks for a straight wager is just $2.
Exotic wagers allow you to make multiple bets on multiple horses in a single wager. Exotic wagers are generally much more difficult to win than straight wagers, require an advanced degree of skill and knowledge in horse picking, and are more expensive. However, the payoffs on exotic wagers are much greater than straight ones.
Remember with a straight wager, you only bet on one horse.
- WIN– You’re betting that your horse will come in first place. If your horse finishes in first, you get to collect.
- PLACE– When you bet on your horse to “place,” you’re betting that he will come in first OR second. If your horse finishes in first or second, you get to collect. Payout for a place bet is less than a win wager, but you do have the security of being able to cash in if your horse finishes in the top two spots.
- SHOW– You’re betting that your horse will come in first, second, OR third. Since you’re hedging your bets, you have a higher chance of winning, but the payout for a show bet is substantially less than a win or place wager.
- ACROSS THE BOARD– When you bet across the board, you’re betting your horse to win, place, AND show. An across-the-board bet is what’s called a “combo straight wager” because it’s three different bets (win, place, AND show) in one. Because it’s three bets in one, an across-the-board bet is more expensive than a simple win/place/show wager. For example, a $2 across-the-board wager will cost you $6, because you’re making three $2 bets. If your horse comes in first, you get the win, place, and show money. If your horse finishes second, you get place and show money. If your horse comes in third, you just get the show money. Across-the-board bets aren’t usually a good wager because they’re expensive and have less profit potential.
- WIN/PLACE, PLACE/SHOW– Similar to an across-the-board bet in that you’re making multiple straight wagers in a single bet. In a win/place bet, you’re betting your horse to win AND place. If he wins, you collect both the win and place money. If he finishes second, you collect just the place money. In a place/show bet, you’re betting that your horse will place and show. If your horse finishes second, you collect the place and show money; if he finishes third, you just get the show money. Because you’re placing multiple wagers on your horse in a single bet, a win/place and place/show is more expensive. A $2 win/place bet will cost you $4 because you’re betting $2 that your horse wins and $2 that your horse places.
Exotic wagers allow you to bet on multiple horses in a single bet, allowing you to increase your profit potential. But as I mentioned above, they’re much harder to win than straight bets, can get expensive if you’re not careful, and require much more skill in handicapping horses. Feel free to experiment with some exotic wagers after you’ve done a few straight bets.
- EXACTA– You’re betting on two horses to come in first and second in an exact order. For example, if you placed a $2 exacta on horses 3 and 5, you can only collect if horse #3 comes in first and horse #5 comes in second. Exacta bets are popular among skilled horse handicappers because the payoff can be very lucrative. You can also “box” your exacta bet which means your two horses can come in any order in the top two spots and you still win. Boxing an exacta costs twice as much as a straight exacta bet. So a $2 box exacta on horses 3 and 5 will cost you $4.
- QUINELLA– With a quinella bet, you’re betting on two horses to come in first and second in any order. As long as your two horses finish in the top two spots, you win. So if you placed a $2 quinella bet on horses 1 and 6, you can collect if horse #1 and horse #6 come in first and second in any order. You might be thinking, “What’s the difference between a quinella and a box exacta? Both let you win if your two horses come in first or second.” The big difference is cost: a $2 quinella bet costs $2 while a $2 box exacta bet will cost you $4. Why would someone pay more for a box exacta if it’s essentially the same bet as a quinella? The payout for a box exacta is generally more than a quinella bet, that’s why.
- TRIFECTA– You bet that three horses will finish in first, second, and third in an exact order. If you place a $2 trifecta bet on 1-5-7, you can only collect if horse #1 comes in first, horse #5 comes in second, and horse #7 comes in third. You can also box your trifecta bet so you can win if your three horses come in first, second, and third in any order. Boxing a trifecta will significantly increase the cost of your bet because there are many combinations. So a $2 box trifecta bet will actually cost you $12 or a $1 trifecta boxed will cost you $6.
- SUPERFECTA– You bet that four horses will finish, first, second, third, and fourth in an exact order. As with exactas and trifectas, you can box a superfecta at an additional cost. The minimum bet is often 10-cents, which makes it more appealing to many people.
I’m not going to get into “keying” horses with these exotic bets. That’s a little bit too advanced for our purposes here. Basically, keying horses allows you to minimize your wager, while increasing your payout if you pick your horses right. It’s something that I’d look into once you get comfortable handicapping horses with exotic wagers.
What to Say to the Teller When You Place Your Bet
Human tellers are fast, accurate, and friendly.
Alright, so you know what kind of bet you’re going to make. Now it’s time to place your bet.
If you’re at the racetrack in person, I recommend only using human tellers. The automatic tellers have big lines, and you risk being shut out of a race because some yokel is making multiple wagers and doesn’t know how to operate the computer. There’s also the risk that you’ll mess up your bet because you punched the wrong button. The human tellers are fast, accurate, and friendly.
Have your money ready in your hand. Things move fast at the counter, especially a few minutes before post. You don’t want to be the guy holding up the line because he’s fumbling through his wallet looking for his $2.
Once you get up to the counter, what do you say to the teller so you don’t sound like an idiot and hold up the line? Here’s your script:
Tell the teller the following in this order:
- Racetrack and race number (only if you’re betting on a race at a different racetrack than the one you’re at)
- Amount of your bet
- Type of bet you’re placing
- Horse’s program number
For example: “Churchill Downs, race seven, $2 to win on #4.”
If you want to do a quinella bet, tell them: “$2 quinella on 3 and 5.”
Now hand the teller your money and take your ticket. Keep it in a safe place. You’ll need it to claim your money if you win. You can tuck it in the front pocket of your shirt, or if you’re wearing a hat, stick it inside your hat band.
How to Pick Your Winning Horse
So now you know how to place a bet at the horse races. With that bit of info, you can go to any track in America and have a good time picking a random horse and betting your $2 on each race. But if you’re like most people, your goal isn’t to simply pay $2 to watch a bunch of horses run around a track. You actually want to win some money! That’s what makes horse racing “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” The suspense and thrill of knowing that each race can make you a bit richer is overwhelming. You can’t help yourself from jumping up, pumping your fist, and yelling “GO, BABY, GO!” as your horse turns the last corner on the track and makes a break for the lead.
But how do you pick a winning horse? There are literally hundreds of books and thousands of websites on handicapping (that means picking) horses and everyone seems to have a different opinion on what factors are the most important to analyze when choosing a horse. While plain old luck is the biggest factor in whether you make or lose money (especially for beginning pickers), handicapping makes the races more fun because it gives you a sense of control, as well as something to chew over between each race.
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to keep the handicapping tips very, very basic. The goal is to give the first time race spectator enough information that he can go to a racetrack and not feel like he’s just randomly picking horses to win. I’d love for all you horse racing junkies to chime in with your tips for our beginner horseplayers.
Get familiar with reading the race day program. Your ability to successfully handicap horses will depend upon your ability to read the race day program. The program is crammed with information that you can use to make smarter bets. In it you’ll find a section for each race that day with the statistics and history on all the horses racing in a particular race. The lines of numbers and lingo in a program can be a bit intimidating at first, but with a little practice you’ll be reading like a (semi) pro in no time.
I could devote an entire article to explaining how to read a race day program, but I won’t. Equibase, the company that creates all the race day programs for every track in the U.S., has a great interactive guide on how to read their race day programs. If you’ve never been to the horse races before, play around with it before you go.
Look at what class levels the horse has been racing at. There are different levels of competition, or classes, in horse racing. As you go up in class, you’ll find better performing horses and higher purses. There are four race classes: maiden races, claiming races, allowance races, and stakes races. Racetracks try to have races with horses at the same level of competition. Horses move up and down classes throughout the year depending on their performance and oftentimes a change in class can affect whether a horse will win or lose.
For example, let’s say the race you’re betting on is a $40,000 allowance race. You have your eye on a horse, so you check its past performance in the program. It looks like he’s been consistently coming in first and second, but you notice that his previous races have all been claiming races. While it’s great that this horse has been bumped up a class, in this particular race he might be outclassed by the other horses who have experience in performing in allowance races. So it might not be a good idea to bet on this horse to win in this particular race.
Past performance on surface type. Racetracks have different surfaces that the horses run on. Some have natural dirt and grass tracks while others have artificial “all-weather” tracks. Horses perform differently on each type of surface. Some horses love dirt tracks, but don’t like the feel of artificial tracks and vice versa. The program tells you each horse’s past performance on the different surface types. If a horse has performed well only on dirt and the track you’re at is an all-weather course, you might consider eliminating her from your list of possible picks.
History with jockey. I like to look at a jockey’s performance history in the program. If a jockey consistently places in first, second, or third no matter what horse he or she is riding, it’s a good indicator of talent. So if I see a good jockey riding a horse for the first time that has consistently finished in the middle of the pack, I might place a bet on that horse, reasoning that with the jockey’s added skill this middle of the pack horse has a good chance of finishing in the top two spots.
I also check to see the history of a jockey with a particular horse. If I see that a horse and jockey have consistently finished in the top three spots together, there’s a good chance they’ll finish in the top three spots in the race that I’m betting on.
Consider the odds. For every race, each horse will have the odds of it winning next to its name in the program. The favorite to win is the horse with the lowest odds. While past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, the statistics show that over time going for the race favorite pays off. If you:
- Bet the race favorite to win, he pays off 33% of the time.
- Bet the race favorite to place (comes in 1st or 2nd), the favorite pays off 53% of the time.
- Bet the race favorite to show (comes in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd), the favorite pays off 67% of the time.
So if you’re looking for an easy way to handicap horses that gives you a good chance of a small return on your money, just bet the race favorite to show.
This horse was really antsy in the paddock. Didn’t put my money on him.
Watch the horse in the paddock. This is my favorite way to handicap a horse. Before every race, the horses are paraded around in an area of the track called the paddock. It gives you a chance to see how the horse looks and is behaving before the race starts. Once I’ve winnowed my list of picks to two or three horses using the info in the program, I like to go over to the paddock to take a gander at how the horses look. Just like you and me, horses have good and bad days. Sometimes when you wake up in the morning you’re raring to go and other times you come down with a case of the Mondays. Same with horses.
Watch the horses to see how they’re behaving. Do they look peppy and eager to race? Mopey and Eeyore-like? Check to see if a horse is sweating a lot. You can tell he’s sweating because he’ll have big dark splotches on his coat. If he’s sweating a lot, it likely means the horse is nervous. Sweat spots by the kidneys indicate that the horse isn’t feeling good, so you might want to pass on him. Some horses will act very jittery in the paddock–turning in circles, biting, rearing. While it’s a sign that the horse has some spunk, he’s wasting all his energy in the paddock instead of saving it for the race. Go with the alert, but calm horse.
Looking for these signs with the horses isn’t very scientific, but it is a lot of fun.
Random, superstitious factors. Of course, you can simply use some random superstitious factor to handicap your horse. You can pick the horse that’s wearing your lucky number or your favorite color. Or you can pick the horse because you like the name. A lot of racegoers have their own silly handicap factors they use. Come up with your own.
Last Minute Tips
You don’t have to bet on every race. For the beginner, the temptation is to bet on every single race in the program. While there is definitely one horse that will win each race, the astute horseplayer culls the entire program for the best bets and might, conceivably, only bet two or three races out of the entire card (card is the term for all the races that day).
Set a budget and bring cash in that amount. If you think you might get carried away with your betting, simply bring a set amount of cash. Once it’s done, you’re done.
Wear a hat. There are few venues these days where a hat doesn’t look out of place. The racetrack is one of them.
ZuluTrade – Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Succeed
Let me guess. You are looking for information about ZuluTrade because:
- You have already tried ZuluTrade but it didn’t work out as hoped and you can’t figure out why
- You are eager to start but you also realize you need to pursue the matter a little more
In both cases, you ended up in the right place.
With this ZuluTrade guide you are about to discover step by step how to effectively use ZuluTrade: from the platform characteristics, to the best strategies to research and use the Signal Providers, to the account management, this guide is a mine of useful information, simple and easy to use.
That you can follow all this guide with a up and working Demo Account, with the same features of a real one.
With the InvestinGoal journey you started from the first introductory Investing for Dummies guide, then you discovered what is Social Trading, and you also passed through the guide which revealed the market that can let the magic happen, the Forex Market.
Basically, you have received everything you need to finally start investing in first person with Zulu Trade.
ZuluTrade Tutorial – Complete ZuluTrade Guide for beginners
First, let’s discover here what is ZuluTrade and its main characteristics.
Do you want to discover other platforms like ZuluTrade, for example eToro, NAGA Trader or Darwinex? Check out our Top 10 of the best Social Trading networks.
What is ZuluTrade?
Zulu Trade is a financial services company. It operates the largest Copy Trading platform in the world (click here to open a Demo Account and see it in a few seconds). He was born in 2007 from an idea by Leon Yohai, a greek entrepreneur born in 1974, active for some time in various online and mobile successful businesses.
Leon Yohai is himself a trader since 2000. Due to the increasing work commitments, Leon realized he could not follow the markets as he wanted. The idea was to create a system in which other traders, which could instead follow it full-time, could trade in his place, while maintaining full control and full ownership of his account and his capital.
Thus was born the premise of ZuluTrade.com.
Founded in 2007, ZuluTrade is the world’s first and one of the most important online and mobile social trading platform. Over 50 Brokers worldwide utilize ZuluTrade’s cutting edge technology to provide their clients the ability of Social Trading.
ZuluTrade aims to connect Users (Followers) and Traders (Signal Providers) through innovative and Proprietary Technology using advanced performance tools.
ZuluTrade service is provided by Triple A Experts SA – EU Regulated, Licence # 2/540/17.2.2020.
In 2020, ZuluTrade has joined forces with Formax Group. Both ZuluTrade and Formax share a vision to become the world‘s largest one-stop financial community that can meet investment requirements by offering customer-focused solutions while also building the largest Social Trading Community in the globe!
ZuluTrade operated his HQ offices at Athens, Greece where the RnD and product team is located and also operates commercial offices at UK and Japan (source wikipedia).
What type of trader are you?
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Why Zulu Trade?
ZuluTrade has grown and it has expanded its business network so much that today it supports about 40 brokers worldwide. Among all, the “favorite” is certainly AAAFX, for the simple fact that this brokerage company is owned by Zulu Trade itself (read here our post about the best broker ZuluTrade).
Regarding Europe, the situation is a bit different, following the regulatory update to MiFID II.
“With what broker is more convenient to open a ZuluTrade account?”.
The answer is AAAFX. It’s the broker directly integrated into the Zulu Trade systems, and being also the broker used by the majority of Signal Providers, the replication process is even more instantaneous and precise. In addition, Zulu Trade has a refund policy for those very few trades in which the replication had some problems. With all the other brokers you can seek reimbursement only for transactions closed with a loss worse than the Signal Provider’s one, while with AAAFX you can ask it even for those with a smaller profit than the Signal Provider’s one.
The best ZuluTrade feature is surely the depth of analysis with which a user can study each Signal Provider performance. You can find a long series of precise data about his operational strategy, performance, and even the behavior of the Signal Provider. You can even go to study each trade executed by a Signal Provider, discovering all the evolution that operation had from opening to closing.
Another winning feature of this company is the advanced customization possibility of the replication settings. As we will see in the next lessons, the investor has the ability to manage and modify at will every detail of its portfolio of Signal Providers and of its strategy.
In this factors Zulu Trade has no equal.
If you want to dig deeper into the reasons about why chosing Zulu Trade, here’s our detailed review and opinion.
What do I replicate using ZuluTrade?
For several years this company has proposed only one type replication, before finally offering an alternative.
The first method, the principal, and the one on which is still based on the whole system of performance evaluation, is the fixed replication of the Signal Provider’s signals, choosing by yourself the market exposure you want to keep, regardless of the trader choices.
Let me explain. A trader may decide to open a trade with 10 lots, then another one with 20 lots, then another one with 5 lots. This will not affect you, because how many lots (or mini or micro lots) will be used on your account will be decided by you, and that value will be constant .
For example, if you have decided that the trader operations must be replicated in your account with an exposure of 1 minilot each, the trader may also vary with lot size, but in your account you will have one and only one minilot each operation.
In addition to lots and exposure a Signal Provider may use, in Forex we use PIPs to measure gains and losses, and precisely PIPs are the elements that Zulu Trade will show you to make you understand the Trader’s performance. How much these PIPs will be worth, you will decide it then.
Zulu Trade even provides an automatic Signal Providers ranking. Their performances are studied and analyzed using an algorithm of its property called Zulurank, which returns an automatic traders ranking, based on their performance.
The second method used by the investor is instead the “Pro-Rata” or proportional replication.
In this case, the follower must decide in what proportion he wants to follow the trading orders of the Signal Provider, with clear reference to the Lot Size he uses. By varying the Lot Size selected by the trader, the Lot Size by which the operation will be replicated on the investor’s account will vary proportionally.
With this feature it is now possible to precisely follow those traders who vary the Lot Size of their trade, fully respecting their strategy and their money management.
As we will see, however, this is still a new feature in ZuluTrade (even though fully functional). In fact, the performance shown on the Signal Providers’ personal profiles are based only on the number of PIPs gained or lost, and do not yet take into account their actual value, and the relative performance, according to the Lot Size used.
The only way is to personally view the details of the trades executed by the Signal Provider, to assess precisely the Lot Size used, making use also of Excel.
Why this course?
The first problem for the vast majority of new investors is the over-reliance on the information of the Zulurank ranking page.
Despite their efforts, this ranking is not reliable in order to make meaningful investment choices. The algorithm tends to favor too much those Signal Providers that have good performance only in the short term.
Those who have exaggerated performance in the short term are usually able to reach such numbers only by exaggerating, which means using very dangerous trading strategies, such as martingale, as we have seen.
Therefore, knowing how to analyze independently a Signal Provider’s performance and strategies is one of the most important factors for a good investment with Social Trading.
We talk more about this in our post How to make money with ZuluTrade. The truth, a post we really suggest you to read before proceeding.
Apart from this, Zulu Trade is a platform where the follower investor has really the ability to manage his own fund in a professional manner. The portfolio is fully customizable, and you can also customize the Signal Provider’s operation by setting specific parameters chosen by you.
The Social Trading side of ZuluTrade
In addition to the technical tools, Zulu Trade is composed of a Social part. Investors can vote and comment directly on the work of a Signal Provider, so that all other investors can see the opinions of others and have an idea. Also, you can see exactly what other follower investors like you are doing.
We have, however, warned you about the risk of basing decisions on others’ opinions. Assuming that the majority of people who vote and invests is experienced (or more likely NOT experienced) as you, what is the point to trust their opinion?
Better to have your own opinion, based on definite and professional information.
Comments can be useful in some cases, when they make you aware of some aspects perhaps you had not been paying attention, but Zulu Trade is really the most complete and professional platform for those who want to become proficient in the use and analysis of performance data.
To facilitate the understanding of the use of its platform, this company offers the opportunity to experience the full service with a demo account. In the first chapter we will deal precisely with this: how to best open a demo account with ZuluTrade.
ZuluTrade Demo account for practicing
Now, let’s starts from the first lesson on how to open and especially manage your practice account, because yes, with ZuluTrade you can even start demo.
We have created a whole separated tutorial for the opening and best practices.
You just need to go to that post, open you virtual account, set it up in a couple of clicks, and then come back here.
Go now and read our ZuluTrade demo account guide.
See you here in a couple of minutes.
How the Zulu Platform works and how to use it
Do you want to find out how the ZuluTrade platform works, and all its features?
In this chapter, and all the related articles, you’ll find everything you need to use the ZuluTrade platform at its best.
Great, let’s begin.
In this post, we will examine the “My Account“ section, the page you access to when you open a ZuluTrade Demo Account.
|Open Your Account!|
|(74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money)|
Before we even begin, we’d like to point out the support that ZuluTrade itself offers its customers.
As we shall see, going forward with this tutorial, one of ZuluTrade’s strengths, is the support it provides, which can be defined as ready, refined and multilingual.
Inside the My Account section there are three very useful elements for beginners:
- Quick Tour: to quickly see the essential elements you can use within the section;
- Simplified Guide: to access a quick but very exhaustive and well translated guide, with all the features ZuluTrade has to offer;
- Chat: multilingual and available within practically all areas of ZuluTrade; you can immediately contact specialized personnel in order to have clarifications.
“My account” Section Data
The first block of information we will analyse is at the top of the My Account section. This element is very important as it shows data relating to your account’s progress. Given its importance you will always find it at the top of the My Account area, regardless of the section you are in.
At the top left you can find your profile picture, taken from Facebook, if you registered through the Social Network. At the top right of the profile picture is your name, and the identification code of that specific account is under the name. You may have multiple accounts all registered to the same name, so in this drop-down window you can see a list of all your accounts and you can easily switch between them clicking on each one.
To the right of your photo you can find some important data on your capital:
- Capital: This item reports the value of your capital added to the value of the currently open market transactions.
Let’s clarify this concept with an example: if your balance is 10,000 dollars, but there are two open market transactions that are losing 100 dollars each, the Capital value will be of $9,800. With this value, you are aware at a glance how much you would profit or lose by closing all positions at any given time.
- Balance: The amount of capital excluding the currently open positions. Basically, what you see in the Balance field is how much you still have on your account’s “card”, while what you see in the Capital field is what you would have if you had to close all open positions.
- Margin: Useful when there are open transactions, it reports the amount of margin blocked by the broker to allow opening those trades, as we already saw in the Forex course on trading margins. The capital blocked by the broker depends on the leverage you are working with. The higher the leverage, the lower the required margin.
- Free Margin: The amount of free and available capital to open new positions. This value is obtained by calculating the difference between the “Capital” value and the one in the “Margin” field.
- PnL (Profits and Losses): How much money you have actually earned in the last 30 days, considering only the closed transactions, which have already been accounted for. If you have earned $1,000 with closed and accounted transactions, but you currently have open positions for -2,000 dollars, this value would still return $1,000,000.
- Margin Call -o- Meter: This bar, which shows a percentage value, calculates the account’s risk of exposure to the Margin Call. A calculation is made assuming the worst case scenario, based on the historical data held by ZuluTrade of the traders you have decided to follow, replicating their operations within your portfolio. The formula for the calculation is a proprietary formula of ZuluTrade.
ZuluTrade considers values below 50% as safe. Values ranging from 50% to 100% are still acceptable, and values above 100% are remarkably risky.
The Margin Call -o- Meter is a very interesting data point, even though it is a calculation of ZuluTrade based on, as we shall see, approximate performance details. However, it is useful to always look at it after having tweaked the settings, especially at the beginning.
If you are an inexperienced investor, you can use the suggestions provided by ZuluTrade as a reference. Honestly, all investors, over time, based on their risk propensity and the desired returns, should give these percentages the appropriate importance.
My Account Control Panel
To access the control panel, click on the icon on the far left of the screen, the one that looks like an odometer. This is the most important area for the performance analysis of your Social Trading account.
In the left section of the page, you can see the situation of the entire portfolio, under it, is the list of connected and enabled Traders (Signal Providers) within it.
Both for the entire portfolio and for each individual trader you can see the amount of money based on the open positions, how much you earned for positions which have already been closed at that moment (the same as the “PnL” data seen before), and the ROI value, or Return on Investment, i.e. how much the individual Signal Provider is making you profit in percentage, or how much the entire portfolio is profiting. For instance, a trader who has made you earn $100 on an account which started from $1,000 will have a ROI of 10%.
You can also find an indication of the Follow Mode, that is, if you are following them in “pro-rate” or “fixed” mode, and the gear icon to access the quick settings section.
The gear setting icon allows you to:
- Change the capital you wish to invest on the Trader;
- Change the compensation mode (pro-rate or fixed);
- Change the maximum number of open positions;
- Vary the function of ZuluGuard;
- Activate and customize the capital protection notification;
- Remove the trader.
In any case, clicking on the portfolio or on a single Signal Provider, the Equity Line chart will be shown on the right. This Equity Line only reports the account’s performance based on the closed and accounted transactions, without including the trend based on the currently open operations.
With the time keys you can choose what data segment to observe, switching from all the available data, to last year only, or the last 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, or even the last 7 days, or day.
There are only two buttons left:
- Follow Trader, which takes you to the Traders page, where you can find the list of all Signal Providers,
- And the Simulate My Portfolio, which is a very interesting function.
We will cover both in other chapters.
What type of trader are you?
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Now, let’s skip the Settings tab, and let’s open the Trade tab in the “My Account” section.
We must admit, this is the section we know the least. With Social Trading, there is no need to trade personally, because you choose the traders who will do it for you.
In any case, ZuluTrade allows you to open positions personally. Here, you will find all the available currency pairs on Forex and CFDs, with the relative values of Money and Letter (Ask and Bid). Clicking on Buy or Sell, a pop up window will open, to insert the order’s details.
ZuluTrade offers you two types of visualizations, an advanced one, which is what you see in the above image, where each box contains a currency pair with the possibility to click on the sale and purchase price, with the spread in the centre, reported in pips between Money and Letter (the only cost for your trade).
Each box can be positioned wherever you want, thanks to the Drag & Drop technology, to obtain the most suitable configuration for your trades.
With the simple view, shown in the image below, you only have the complete list of tradable instruments on ZuluTrade. With this visualization too, clicking on money or letter will open the window to place the order.
Unless you are a professional trader, we highly recommend NOT trying to trade on your own. Trading is a very complex activity, which is why you can make a lot of money. It’s better to get the professionals to do it for you, replicating their orders.
Let’s move to the Position Tab.
Within this section of the ZuluTrade “My account” area you are given a detail on open trades and pending orders, i.e. those already entered in the system that will go to market only if certain conditions, normally the price, are met.
– Open positions
Within the open positions section, you will find the list and details of the open and not yet closed transactions, divided by Signal Providers.
Here, you can find the following details:
- the currency pair of the trade
- if it’s a buy or sell
- the lot size of the operation
- the precise date on which it was opened
- the entry price
- the stop price set by the Signal Provider
- the profit price
- how much the asset is trading for at that moment
- The current profit or loss, both in pips and in money.
An important thing to point out, is that all operations can be sorted based on each of the above-listed parameters, in either ascending or descending order. You can indulge yourself in ordering all trades according to their opening date, or maybe by entry price, or by current profit. It only depends on the analysis you’re carrying out at any given moment.
Among the other important features within the Open Positions section, you can find:
- “Close All”: On the top right. Clicking it will automatically close all trades opened by that Signal Provider.
- “Lock Trade”: The lock icon shown next to each open trade: Using this feature, you will disconnect the trade from the trader who generated it. Any operation made by the Signal Provider on that trade will no longer be replicated on your account. This means you will have to manually manage the operation. Obviously, if Take Profits and Stop Losses have been set, those will be kept. Activating the lock blocks the trader’s control over the individual “locked” trade, but you will continue to replicate all his other operations, new and old. As already mentioned, if you wish to manually manage trades, be careful.
- X: Also next to open trade, it permanently closes, manually, only the single trade.
At the top of the box you will also find a summary of the overall situation of the open positions, and you can choose whether to view all operations or filter them by Signal Provider, or by Details, which lists the operations without dividing them by Signal Provider, or by Summary, which displays the operations grouped according to the currency pairs we are currently operating on.
In the Summary option, given a currency pair, such as EUR/USD, we can see how many transactions are currently opened, what are the lot sizes used on the total transactions, if the overall exposure is Long or Short (2 Long trades for one lot and 1 Short Trade for one lot give a net exposure of one Long Lot), what is the average price, and the total profit or loss in pips and money.
To finish with this section, there is also a “Close all open positions” button to close all the open trades made by all Signal Providers (this button is for critical situations), and the On-Off button for the sound effects played when opening and closing positions.
Checking the Order sub-section will display the list of pending orders entered by the Trader.
Pending orders are orders that will be automatically executed when certain price levels are met. In this sub-section you can see if there are any and what their parameters are. Like before, this section also allows to sort the orders according to the value of each column, both in ascending and descending order.
Just like the open trades section, you can also close all pending orders by clicking on the button at the top right “Close all pending orders”, or you can act on the individual operation by clicking on the lock icon or on the “X”, the functioning and the logics are the same as just described above.
Within these two macro areas, open positions and orders, you will find the Sound on-off lever. This function enables or disables the acoustic notifications triggered when something in the section changes, because new trades are added to the list.
Did you know that thanks to Social Trading you don’t have to be a Trader to earn like one? OPEN AN ZULUTRADE ACCOUNT AND TRY!
(76% of retail CFD accounts lose money)
My account HISTORY
Let’s see the last tab, and one of the most interesting ones, of this chapter dedicated to the “My account” section of ZuluTrade, the History tab.
This Tab is divided into several subsections: History, Trade History, Cancelled Orders Log. Thanks to this section you will be able to track and analyse the historical trend of your account.
This section displays a chart and a list of operations. The chart in the History section is completely customizable.
You can decide the time intervals to be analysed, whether it should display all the available data, or just the data from last year, down to the data from the last day. By clicking on the calendar symbol and selecting the start and end date, you can also view a specific period.
In the drop-down menu on the right, above the chart, you can see the data trend of the entire account by clicking on Total Profit, or go to a histogram chart to see the profits or losses of each Trader who operated on your account.
By checking the name of the single trader in the drop-down menu, you can customize your analysis for a single Signal Provider or for multiple Traders, depending on the type of analysis you want to perform. By selecting traders like this, you will have a graphical representation of their performance, not a histogram, but an equity line, much more representative of the historical performance of their operations.
You can also select the “Active Traders” option, to only see the performances of traders you have copied on your account.
Using the Currency drop-down menu, positioned further to the right, you can further limit the analysis data, asking the system to only display data relating to one or more specific currency pairs.
Below the chart, on the left, are three buttons. Let’s analyse the first two:
- Profit in pips;
- Profit in (Euro, Dollars – the currency you have chosen for your account).
By selecting one of these two buttons you can see the evolution of the profits on your account, in Euro or in pips, and acting on the previous drop-down menu you can decide whether to see these values directly as a total on your account, or by contribution from the various traders, each represented by their equity lines.
Selecting the pip profits and just one trader, we can see an interesting detail.
Two lines appear on the graph, a blue one and an orange one. The blue line represents the pips earned or lost from trader’s operations, the orange one is the Follower line, i.e. the pips you have earned or lost on your account. The difference may depend on slippage, or by many other factors, as we shall see later.
In any case, knowing how to view this data is very important.
If you click on the monthly button, the performance of the account or of the individual traders will be merged to a monthly basis and will be identified by a histogram. These are two very interesting ways to analyse equally interesting data.
Below the Equity chart you can find the list of operations performed on your account, grouped by all Signal Providers, or divided by each one. Clicking on the tab of a specific trader will flag it, as in the Moderator drop-down menu earlier.
Finally, as you can see, you can download the history data as an Excel file.
Settings Section – How to set up the platform
Do you want to figure out how to use ZuluTrade’s platform settings to setup your account, the Signal Providers and your trader portfolio?
We’ll go through it all in this lesson!
The “Settings” section of ZuluTrade is definitely the most important area in the “My Account” section, since this is where we’ll operate to setup our strategy and our portfolio.
|Open Your Account!|
|(74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money)|
ZuluTrade Portfolio Settings
From the settings section, we can operate in Portfolio and Automator mode. Let’s start by taking a detailed look at the portfolio section, which is the one that opens by default when accessing the “My Account” settings.
As you can see from the image below, a specific box is dedicated to each Trader (Signal Provider) you have decided to include in your portfolio.
At the far left of this box is a check box, which allows you to select one or more Traders, to Enable/Disable or Remove Traders in bulk with the buttons below.
The Enable/Disable Trader feature allows you to enable or disable the automatic replication of a Trader’s operations, still keeping the Signal Provider within your portfolio. Selecting the Remove Trader buttons however, you will completely remove the Trader from your portfolio.
ZuluTrade Trader Box Settings
Now let’s take a good look at the settings bar for each individual trader:
– ZuluGuard Shield
First, we find the ZuluGuard shield, an interesting automatic defence system, which will be explained in the next post, along with other interesting tools.
– Calculation Method: Fixed or Pro-Rata
Next to the shield icon, you can choose the Calculation Method for each trader. You can decide between Fixed, where you set the lot size per operation, or Pro-Rata, which allows you to set the percentage to use to replicate the lot size of the trader you are following. Although this course is developed on the Fixed method, which has been operational since the beginnings of ZuluTrade, we have written an entire post on our blog about how the ZuluTrade Pro-Rata works .
Immediately after is the Lot/Pro-Rata % box, where you can enter the Lot Size you wish to assign to that Signal Provider, if you’re using the Fixed method, or the percentage, if using the Pro-Rata replication method.
– Max Open Trades
The next element is the Max Open Trades, where you can set the maximum number of transactions opened simultaneously that the Signal Provider can maintain. If you don’ set any limits, the infinity symbol is displayed, which indicates that all the operations opened by the trader on his account will be replicated. This function can become quite useful when using the Fixed calculation method, but it loses effectiveness with the Pro-Rata replication method, as you have already set a percentage of lots.
– ZuluTrade Padlock
Further to the right is a padlock icon. The lock mechanism blocks the replication of the trader’s signals. By activating the lock, no operation from the trader will be replicated to your account. For the ones that are already opened, no further signals will be received from the trader, and will therefore be closed only when the stop loss or take profit is reached, or if you manually intervene to close them. It’s as if you have “suspended” the activity of the trader within your portfolio.
– Clock Feature
The clock icon (time filter), allows you to set times periods when you don’t want ZuluTrade to replicate the operations of that particular Trader (Signal Provider). Let’s say you do not want to copy operations at night, all you have to do is just filter out the night hours using the boxes in the following pop up window.
– Pencil Feature – Advanced Settings for Currencies
Finally, we have the Pencil icon (Advanced Settings for Currencies). Clicking on the icon will show a pop-up window allowing you to use all the options seen up until now, applying them to a specific currency pair traded by the Signal Provider.
Actually, accessing the advanced currencies filter, you’ll have many more filters that we’ll briefly describe below.
– Max Lot
Max Lot: You can set a replication limit for operations when a maximum lot size per specific currency is reached. If, for instance, you set the limit of 0.5 lots on EUR/USD, once the sum limit for the open transactions on the EUR/USD currency has been reached, only the trader’s activities for trades that do not concern the EUR/USD currency will be replicated.
– Limit and Stop
Limit and Stop: With these two boxes you can intervene to modify the replication of the Trader’s operations. By setting a value in the Limit box, such as 30, ZuluTrade will use that level every time to decide when to close a profiting trade, despite what the Trader (formerly Signal Provider) decides to do. Each of these trades will be closed when 30 pips are reached. The same happens for the Stop signal. Regardless of what the Trader will do and the stop levels he is using, his replicated trades will be stopped when reaching the pip level indicated in this setting. Obviously, as with the lot size setting, the limit and stop levels are to be considered for a single currency pair.
– ZuluTrade Safe Feature
Both boxes have a key next to them. This is the icon for the Safe feature. The Safe feature is one of the best protection techniques ZuluTrade has in store. By activating the Safe feature, ZuluTrade considers and compares, from time to time, the most secure value between those set by the Trader and those set by you here in the “My Account” section. For instance, if you set a Stop at -30 pip, activating the Safe function, and the Signal Provider decides to close the trade at -20 pips, ZuluTrade will use the stop level of the trader, as it is considered safer. If, on the other hand, the trader wants to close the trade at -50 pips, ZuluTrade will use your -30 pips as the stop level, as it is safer than -50 pips. The same logic works for the Limit level with the Safe function. The closest and therefore easier to reach and safer limit levels will be used by ZuluTrade to close trades, excluding the farthest levels, which are therefore at greater risk of not being reached.
– Trailing Stop, Pip Spacing, Compensation Pip
What follows are three features: The “Cogwheel” in the Stop column, represents the “Trailing Stop” feature, the “Offset pips” function, and finally the “Pip spacing” feature. These three functions have the ability to change the operating strategy set by the trader drastically and, if managed knowledgeably, they can give great satisfactions. This is why we decided to dedicate an entire chapter to them in the next lesson.
To conclude with the advanced currencies filters, we have to explain the utility of the “sheet” icon on the far right.
By clicking the icon, you can extend all the settings of the single currency pair to all the currencies on ZuluTrade used by the Trader. Basically, it turns the filter you’ve just set for a currency pair into a general settings filter for the trader. Which isn’t bad for an evolved operability!
At the top right of the sections we have just described there are two buttons that refer to two interesting sections, the “Forex Profit Simulator” and “My lists”. We’ll see these sections in detail later.
Below these settings boxes, the “Follow Trader” button forwards us to the Signal Provider classification page, which we shall see later on.
To save the changes you have made to ZuluTrade, go to the bottom of the page and click on the “Save Advanced Settings” button. You wouldn’t want to work for several minutes and then lose everything just because you closed the page forgetting to save?
If, on the other hand, you aren’t satisfied with the work you’ve done, and you’d like to return to the original settings, just click on the “Reset Changes” button, to return to the last saved settings.
What type of trader are you?
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
ZuluTrade Account Settings
Up until now, we have seen the settings you can work on as regards the portfolio in the “My Account” section. Now, let’s move on to see the Copy Trading account settings.
– Disable the Reception of New Signals
You can decide whether to “switch on” or “switch off” the account using the “Disable the reception of new signals” button. Suppose you’d like to stop replicating signals for a while, but you know you’d like to resume with the same settings whenever possible. Just disable the replication of all signals and reactivate it when you want to.
– Lot Format
“Lot format” is a very important setting. Remember when you set the Lot Size in the Trader settings box? There, you were entering the values using standard lots as a unit of measurement. In case you prefer to use mini-lots or micro-lots as a unit of measurement, you just have to come here and change the selection from this drop-down menu. All the lot size values in your settings will then be expressed according to that unit of measurement.
– Maximum Open Lots
“Maximum Open Lots” is the same function we have already seen, with which you can set a maximum volume limit in the total transactions of the portfolio, after which ZuluTrade will stop replicating trades, but this time it will be applied to the entire account, not just to a single Trader or to a single currency pair. Suppose you set 5 standard lots to Maximum Open Lots, and you have three Signal Providers all operating with a standard lot size. The first trader opens 3 trades, the second Signal Provider opens 2, and the third one opens another 2. ZuluTrade will only replicate the operations of the first two Traders, because their trades will reach the maximum allowed volume.
– Indicative Leverage
“Indicative Leverage” is an indication of financial leverage, but be careful not to get confused. This parameter doesn’t indicate the Leverage of your trading account with your broker, it only indicates the leverage value that ZuluTrade will use to do some of its automatic calculations. Remember the Margin Call -o- Meter, which reports the possibility for your account to incur in a margin call based on your settings? One of the fundamental elements of that calculation depends on this leverage value.
Give it a try. Create a portfolio and check the percentage on the bar. Then, come back here and increase the leverage value, for instance from 100:1 to 200:1. Check the percentage again. It should certainly have decreased. This is because the higher the leverage, the less the broker asks for margin for each transaction, so the chances of not having enough margin (margin call) decrease. This being said, you might be tempted to select the maximum value of 1000:1 (yes, one thousand to one), but you should definitely avoid this. The leverage value ZuluTrade uses for its calculations is one thing, the leverage value that your broker actually provides you is another. Here, you should enter the actual leverage value the broker will provide you when opening a Live account. If you’ll be using AAAFX, the leverage they provide is 100:1, so you can enter this value even now you’re working with a demo account.
– Monitor My Account
“Monitor My Account” is another safety level promoted by ZuluTrade to try to reduce the risks of system malfunction as much as possible. Even though it’s an issue we personally never encountered recently, it still could happen. ZuluTrade lists one by one what these hitches could be.
Basically, a replication problem is when the Signal Provider does something with a trade in his account, but that action is not replicated on the open trade in “My account” (for example, the trader closes the trade but the one in the Investor account, stays open, or the trader changes the stop loss, or take profit, but the changes aren’t made on the investor’s account). Generally, the causes of these problems depend on temporary connectivity issues, or on the diversity of prices quoted by various brokers, which in some cases can create a conflict between the Signal Provider’s trade and the Follower Investor’s trade. Flagging this box, you allow ZuluTrade to try to close or restore the same situation of the Signal Provider every time the system realizes that something did not go as planned. In some cases, for some types of brokers, this function is mandatory.
– Avoid Hedging
The term Avoid Hedging, refers to the practice of opening two or more operations on the same account on the same instrument with opposite directions. Buying a lot of EUR/USD and simultaneously selling one is considered Hedging. Some brokers do not allow this, others do, but it depends on the broker and it is important that you know yours allows it ahead of time. For Social Trading, hedging is essential.
Suppose a Trader’s strategy does not provide for it, so he will open operations on a particular currency pair always in the same direction. The problem is that there could be another Trader who plans to open a trade on the same currency pair, but in the opposite direction. So your broker must be able to accept both orders, otherwise it will only replicate orders from the same direction (long or short) of the first trade that was opened. Suppose that, despite this warning, you still want to avoid hedging on your account, because your live account broker doesn’t allow it.
By flagging “Avoid Hedging” you ask ZuluTrade to treat your demo account exactly as if it were a real live account with a broker who doesn’t allow hedging. Now, you can test out your portfolio, understanding whether hedging is really essential for Social Trading.
– Favourite Time Zone
Finally, we can set our preferred time zone. The time zone we select here will be used to indicate every date on the site, particularly regarding the temporal details of the trades (opening date, closing date, etc). Personally, we have always been comfortable using the UTC time zone, which is the time zone that dictates the trading day throughout the world, which makes things easier to follow, but you can easily choose another setting, just remember what it is and make sure you can easily manage the data. Suppose you want to avoid Traders who operate at night. You have to be sure of the times and the time zones in use, or you could easily get confused when you see the details of their operations.
ZuluTrade Automator Settings
The Automator section of the ZuluTrade settings simply confirms that ZuluTrade is one of the best Copy Trading platforms in the world as regards the customization of the account.
In addition to the many settings we have just seen in the portfolio section, which can be defined somewhat “partially static” (like setting a lot size or a percentage of replication, editing stop losses or take profits), through the Automator function you can also create dynamic rules for portfolio management .
The incredible thing about this section is it provides the possibility to create a portfolio management only a programmer would be able to set up. As a matter of fact, ZuluTrade, through the Automator feature, provides users with a graphic interface which eliminates the barriers of programming.
You just have to know what you want to happen on your account when certain conditions occur and set it all up.
For instance, you can decide that, after a certain profit, the percentage of Pro-Rata assigned to the trader is automatically increased, or that other trades shouldn’t be opened if the total number of opened trades is higher than a certain value, etc.
Imagination is the only real limit here.
The management of the feature is very simple, we start by creating a rule which we must provide with a name and possibly a description.
The mechanism is quite traditional for computer routines. First, a condition is verified, which is set as an “IF” statement, among the conditions proposed by ZuluTrade. If the system verifies the set condition is true, which can be one or more, the consequence or action is called, identified with a “THEN” statement, which are also chosen among the available ones.
In the image below we have, trivially, set a profit condition reached on the account, in Euro, so that if 10,000 Euro are exceeded, will trigger the closure of all the trades in the account.
With these two lessons we have finished our tour through all the functions available in the “My account” section.
But, wait a moment. Dealing with all the features and tools, we have left some out, to deal with in another chapter.
Well, the next chapter. In the next chapter, we’ll find out how the new ZuluGuard, Trailing Stop and Offset Pip features work.
ZuluTrade special trading tools
In the previous lesson we looked at all the parameters on which we can intervene in the “Settings” section of our Zulutrade investment account.
We have, however, left behind four tools that are worth a separate discussion, and which are the last four Zulutrade creations.
We are talking about the ZuluGuard, Offset pips, Pips Spacing and Trailing Stop functions. Let’s start from the latter.
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The trailing stop is one of the latest additions made by Zulutrade to its already professional and very adaptable platform.
We need to start by explaining what a trailing stop is in the first place, and how it works.
The trailing stop is a dynamic and automatic stop which is used with the aim of leaving profits run and cutting losses.
When you set a normal stop loss you are deciding at what level the transaction will be closed, then what will be the potential loss.
With a trailing stop instead things get more interesting. For example, if you set a trailing stop at 50 pips, and your trade goes in the right direction and arrives at a profit of 50 pips, the system, at that point, should have automatically moved your stop at break even, by pulling it, while the price was rising, one pip at a time for 50 pips towards your market entry price. If the trade continues to increase profit, let’s say to 70 pips, the system would shift automatically stop at +20 pips profit.
In practice, when the trade is opened with the trailing stop order entered, as soon as the trade gains even one single pip the stop will be pulled of one pip, so at that point it would no longer stop at -50 pips, but at -49. And if the trade would earn another pip, the stop would move to -48, and so on.
The interesting thing is that the trailing stop follows the price every time it moves increasing our profit, but on the other hand, when it comes back against our direction, then the stop remains firm to the last price level touched. In our example, if after gaining 2 pips the price had gone back 10 pips, our stop would still have been at -48 pips from the entry price.
Trailing stop for helping profits
The trailing stop is a stop level that dynamically follows price in its progression. If the price goes in the right direction of the trade, consequently the stop will automatically move, with a distance level decided by you, as in the example 50 pips. If the price should go against the trade, the stop remains fixed and would be activated if the price would go in the opposite direction of the amount of pips decided by you. This is a classic example of what is meant by “Cut the losses and let the profits run.”
The trailing stop, if properly set, could potentially follow the development of the trade and properly close the operation when the trend movement would be actually finished. And the best thing is that it would do everything automatically, no need for you to manually change the stop loss level.
Zulutrade gives you the chance to use this interesting trading tool with the operations of your Signal Providers.
To use this function, you must obviously go in the “Settings” tab. In the Stop column you can find also a “T” symbol next to the “Safe” button. That is the Trailing Stop function.
How does this work? Let’s say you want all the operations of that Signal Provider to have a trailing stop at 50 pips. Just enter 50 in the appropriate box, and click on the “T”, so that it changes color. From that moment on, the Trailing Stop is activated, and each new trade will have this function.
The Trailing stop function can be also implemented per individual transaction. Of course, having to act on a single operation, you have to go to in the “Positions” tab of your account.
Once inside, you can access the trailing stop function for each transaction by clicking on the corresponding stop loss value. A window will pop up where you can interact in different ways with the stop loss.
With Stop Value you can enter the price level at which you want the trade to be stopped out.
With Stop Pips, instead of deciding the price level, you can decide the amount of pips you want the stop loss to be.
Finally, you can enable or disable Trailing Stop function with On/Off, and decide the number of pips.
Once you have made your decision, simply press “Set”, and Zulutrade will save and use your new settings.
To use with caution
To use a trailing stop is definitely a great opportunity to try to improve the performance and the risk protection, but keep in mind two things:
1) You have to know how to use logically and with informed basis. If used too much, and without judgment, is likely to cause more harm than good. Always remember that the strategy of a serious trader has been built according to the statistics. Often, it’s the statistics that says that the stop level should be that number of pips, and that it must remain fixed, because only this way you can get statistically the performance of high profit and low risk to which the strategy aims.
2) In addition to point 1, if you use a too tight trailing stop, you risks to block too early the trade’s life. On one hand you could save some pip of stop, and this could be a good thing. But on the other hand, almost certainly, you will also stop some of the operations that would have made a lot of pips in profit. Don’t underestimate this point. Doing this type of work involves changing strongly the risk/return parameters of a strategy. For many traders and many strategies the risk/return is everything, even more important than when, how and why to open a trade.
For these reasons, in order to properly use the trailing stop, you need a certain level of in-depth knowledge of the Signal Provider’s strategy. Without that it would be dangerous because of the above.
In the Investing Gold section we treat this topic in depth, in order to give way to reason in the right manner, and understand if and how it’s appropriate to use the trailing stop.
Let move to Offset Pips, by far the newest Zulutrade innovation.
With this function, you can choose to replicate the trades of a Signal Provider at a different price from the Signal Provider’s one, for a number of pips corresponding to the value you entered.
To explain it better, if you enter -10 of Offset Pips and the Signal Provider opens a trade, that trade will not be immediately replicated into your account, but Zulutrade will wait to see if the trade reaches -10 pips of drawdown, and then, only then, it will open the trade also in your account. Of course, your trade opening price at that point will not be the same as the Signal Provider’s one.
Conversely, with a positive value of +10, if the Signal Provider’s trade should reach +10 pips profit, Zulutrade will proceed with the replication by opening that trade on your account.
So, when you work negative, trades are opened at a better price than the Signal Provider’s one, vice versa, when you work positive, at a worse price.
To choose whether to work in positive or negative, and for how many pips, you must be familiar with the Signal Provider ‘s operation, so you can optimize it. If you don’t know it in detail, rather than optimize it you run the same risks discussed a little while ago about trailing stop.
Always remember that a serious trader has tested its strategy on long and complete historical data, so the strategy is already optimized to work on different scenarios. This does not mean that we cannot possibly improve it a little bit with our settings, but you definitely have to proceed with caution and after investigation.
Accessible only from the custom settings for the currency pair, Pips Spacing is the absolute last tool implemented by ZuluTrade.
This new feature may serve to limit the actions of a Signal Provider, and it works especially well with all those traders who tend to open several trade all at the same or similar price level.
Sometimes it’s about strategy, which tells that once an entry setup is found, the trader should enter the market with multiple operations at the same level to close them later at different time or targets. Many other times instead, once a entry setup is found, the Signal Provider places several operations at the same level simply to increase the number of commissions earned through the replication of other investors, without a real strategic reason (we talked about it in this post on Social Trading risk factor).
The operation is simple. Given that there is already an open operation in the market, you just have to set the minimum number of pips of difference that the entry price of the new trade must have form the entry price of the position already in the market. Same story for a pending order.
Let’s say we have a trade open at 1.5000 and a Pip Spacing of 20 pips. If the Signal Provider should open any type of trade, whether it is Long or Short, spot or pending, with a price ranging between 1.4980 and 1.5020, those trades will not be replicated on your account. Should he open trades with price from 1.5021 upwards or 1.4979 downwards, those trades will be replicated on your account.
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The ZULUGUARD tool
Zuluguard is one of the Zulutrade attempts to provide the inexperienced follower investor with an automatic risk management tool. The Zuluguard assumption is very good and its usefulness is that we can automate some actions, authorizing Zulutrade to do them for us.
To use the function just click on the orange shield, and it a pop-up window with the setup panel will open.
The parameters on which Zuluguard works are three: the Capital Protection, the Single Trade Protection, the Max Open Trade Protection.
For each of these three parameters you can choose a specific protection level identified by a number, at which you can tell Zulutrade to carry up to 3 programmed actions:
– Close all trader’s trade: when reaching the security level, Zuluguard will be activated and all the Signal Provider’s operations will be closed permanently.
– Disable the trader: the trader will be disabled and his signals will no longer be replicated. However, if you have not selected the first option too, his open trades will not be closed and you will need to handle them.
– Replace the trader with equal or better ZuluRanked trader: the senseless option. If, and only if, you have selected also the second option that disconnects the Signal Provider from your account, you can select the third and let ZuluTrade automatically propose a new Signal Provider for you, in your portfolio. If so, then you will have to enable him by choosing the lot size and the other possible settings. Obviously, it’s the Zuluguard option you never have to use if you want to become a professional and base your choices on your expertise.
The Zuluguard’s intervention parameters
Let’s see now one by one the three parameters on which ZuluGuard can be activated.
– Capital Protection
This tool works as a trailing stop, but used on all your capital, therefore on the balance of money earned through that Signal Provider. As seen earlier, the trailing stop is a preset dynamic stop, that moves following the increase in profits, but on the contrary, doesn’t ever go back in case of losses.
In practice, it’s the maximum amount of money you are willing to lose with the Signal Provider. Let’s make an example. You have set a $ 1,000 Capital Protection. The trader works and earns $ 2,000. But then he begins to lose, making you lose as well $ 1,500, therefore with a balance went from 2,000 to 5,00. Hold on! This is what would have happened without the Capital Protection. With the security level at $ 1,000 instead, Zulutrade would have acted (in this case it’s recommended making it close all positions) as soon as the amount of the fluctuating losses, ie opened, had reached -1,000 $. This means that you would not have found the balance to $ 500, but at $ 1,000 (2,000-1,000 = 1,000).
In addition, it’s a dynamic stop. Let’s assume the trader does not make you lose $ 1,000, but instead he makes you earn $ 2,000 more, bringing the total to $ 4,000. At this point, the worst-case scenario in which you may come across would be to find the account at 3,000 (4,000 reached – 1,000 of Capital Protection), because, should that threshold been reached, Zuluguard will intervene to protect your profits.
Should be noted that you have to consider not only how many pips the Signal Provider lose, but above all what is the lot size you have assigned, because the money you actually lose will depend on both factors.
But be careful, to use too tight values could trigger ZuluGuard too early and unnecessarily. It’s a tool to be used with caution. You will definitely need to consider the classic Max Drawdown value (not the Zulutrade’s one) to use it wisely.
– Single trade protection
This type of ZuluGuard protection acts on each trade opened by the Signal Provider. The number of pips you choose as Single Trade Protection will be the maximum number of pips that ZuluGuard will tolerate before acting according to your choices.
In practice it’s something like the Safe Stop, the option we saw in the Settings chapter. In this case, however, not only you can close that operation, but even all of them, if not directly disconnecting the trader.
– Max Open Trades Protection
We know that, in a Signal Provider’s strategy, the maximum number of transactions kept open simultaneously is a fundamental value in order to understand the level of risk.
If you have observed the data of at least one year, we’ll be entitled to think that statistically the Max Open Trades value should be that one, and that it should not change, provided that the Signal Provider doesn’t say differently. Or maybe there can be a Trader’s communication in which he declare precisely how many trades he opens simultaneously in his strategy.
In cases like this, why not use this ZuluGuard protection tool? If the Signal Provider should suddenly increase even of one of his Max Open Trade value, it would mean he’s no longer following his own strategy, or that something very unusual and potentially dangerous is happening, so why not begin with turning him off, and then run to see what’s going on?
ZuluGuard takes action, and also warns you
Among all the three security parameters on which ZuluGuard work, the only actions we use are the first two, “close all trader’s trade” or “disable the Trader.” The third definitely not.
The most interesting thing though, is that when ZuluGuard is activated, you can choose to be notified by email. In this way, even if you’re not the PC, you can quickly go from your smartphone to control what is happening. Especially if you use the “disable the trader” function, the operations will not be closed, but the trader will be temporarily disconnected, in order to prevent him maybe to open more trades, and you will be notified so you can assess the situation, and perhaps find that it has been merely a misunderstanding (it’s only an example, but indeed possible).
In any case, ZuluGuard is a tool that for sure can be useful, but that should be used with caution.
To conclude, for those who are not able to reason about what values should be appropriate, Zulutrade offers its own automatic calculations, to facilitate the choice, which in certain cases may also be an appropriate choice, since in this case is based on clear and simple data.
How the ZuluRank works and how to use it
Curious to know how the ZuluTrade Trader ranking, the ZuluRank and all the search tools work?
You’re in the right places.
The ZuluTrade Traders page collects all, and I do mean all, of the thousands of available Signal Providers on this platform.
In the following chapters of this course we will explore all the ways in which you can work with this long list, including all research methods, which are very important to find the traders with the features we are interested in.
In this chapter, we will do a roundup of all the values you see listed for each Signal Provider.
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The trader’s personal details
Let’s start from the left.
First, there is the trader’s picture and his full name. Photos and names are not items to underestimate. Recognizing the trader’s photo is important, but what matters most is to identify precisely his name.
Some Signal Providers (who actually are not at all real Signal Providers) have created fake Signal Provider users with the same picture and a very similar name to that of popular and well followed Signal Providers. Their hope is that some naive investors will get confused when they will decide to follow those famous Signal Providers, linking mistakenly to the fake traders. You can copy the picture, but you cannot copy the name, so pay always close attention to the full name of the trader that interest you.
The number you find in the left of the picture is a simple reference, which once served only to identify the rank of the Signal Provider according to the Zulurank, the ZuluTrade algorithm that created an automatic classification. Today it is not so. The Zulurank ranking has not disappeared completely, but the way to access it has changed.
Directly on the photo there is the flag of the trader’s origin country, while under the name are reported the first words of the strategy description directly supplied by the trader himself.
Below that we have the space in which it’s shown with what broker the trader has opened his own trading account. It’s very common to see written “ZuluTrade” instead of a broker’s name. This doesn’t mean that ZuluTrade has also become a broker. This is the result of a new project implemented by the company, called ZuluTrade+, in which the Signal Providers have the ability to trade directly from the ZuluTrade platform, no need to have an account with another broker and a platform (for example an MT4). The securities and exchange rates prices are provided by AAAFX, the broker owned by ZuluTrade. So, in these cases, instead of the broker’s name you will find written “ZuluTrade,” instead of, for example, AAAFX.
Next to the broker’s name there’s a place where you can find up to 10 different symbols. Let’s see what they mean and what their value may be:
– Green dollar: Signal Provider is using a Live account. This means that the trader is committing his own money on his strategy, and it could be a reason for confidence. However, you should not give too much weight to this fact. Remember that now you can open live accounts with only a few tens of dollars. A Signal Provider may open an account with very little money just to get this symbol and gain confidence, despite his skills could not be that great.
– Blue dollar: Signal Provider is using a Demo account and he is following himself with a live account. The considerations of this option are the same as before.
– ZS (ZuluScripts): this trader is operating on ZuluTrade+, using Zuluscripts. This feature allows the trader to host his automatic EA trading strategy directly on the ZuluTrade’s server. In theory, this system should make the signals’ replication even more fluid and above all instantaneous.
– ZuluTrading API: the Signal Provider is sending and managing signals using his own trading program that communicates with ZuluTrade through its API. Basically, instead of accessing his own Signal Provider account at ZuluTrade and handling the task from there, the trader is using his own program (we do not know which one) that can communicate with ZuluTrade thanks to the API of the latter.
– FIFO Rule: the Signal Provider trades in accordance with the FIFO rule, which stands for First In First Out (The first one that comes in is the first that comes out). This rule is even mandatory at certain broker. In practice, if the trader opened two operations, he cannot close the second until he closed the first. Complying to the FIFO rule, from a certain point of view, can certainly be an indication of security of his strategy, although in some cases it becomes limiting. This symbol in each case identifies also a trader who does not apply hedging techniques, i.e. with operations of opposite sign on the same instrument at the same time (eg, long and short at the same time on EUR / USD)
– Star: as we will see in the chapters on the Signal Provider’s profile, follower investors with live accounts have the opportunity to vote on the trader’s performance on 3 parameters, with grades ranging from 1 to 5 stars. Who has an average of at least 4 stars is awarded with this “Star” recognition by ZuluTrade.
– Hedging: in trading there are different types of hedging, we have seen one a few lines above. Another way instead consists in trading taking advantage of the positive and negative correlations that various pairs may have between them. Using these techniques in an appropriate manner can lead to a good risk and drawdown management. ZuluTrade, thanks to its sophisticated system of performance analysis, is able to understand who uses (or maybe just try to use) this type of strategies.
– Medal: traders with this medal are the Zuluveteran. The award is given only to those traders who have traded associated with ZuluTrade for at least 2 years, and that, in their Signal Provider careers, have always maintained on average a high ranking position.
– Calendar release: to trade when the economic news are released by the news agencies can be very profitable, as well as very dangerous, because the volatility may also increase dramatically, and sometimes explode out of control. It all depends of course on the type of strategy employed by the trader. This symbol identifies those Signal Providers that have historically done a lot of operations in conjunction with the release of this news.
– EA (Expert Advisor): the trader has an account with a broker, we don’t know if demo or live. What we do know is that he uses the MetaTrader Trading platform 4 (MT4), and he works using an Expert Advisor loaded on his own platform.
Let’s move a little to the right to look at the box with a sort of stylized Equity Line inside. Click on one of them. This will open a pop-up window that will show you all the available chart. We will analyze this chart in the chapter on the Signal Provider’s profile.
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